A BURNLEY school has been ranked as one of the most improved in the country for its GCSE exam results.

Unity College Burnley saw the percentage of pupils gaining five A to C grades, including English and maths, rise from 39 per cent to 55 per cent in the last year.

The school was also ranked 84th on a list of schools which have improved year on year since 2009, when just 29 per cent of pupils enjoyed success.

Also included in the top 200 showing year on year improvement were Accrington Academy, Blackburn Central High School and Darwen Aldridge Community Academy.

Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School saw a slight rise from 98 per cent to an impressive 99 per cent, making it one of the best performing in the country.

Fearns Community Sports College in Bacup also saw a rise from 33 per cent to 49 per cent.

Head teacher at Unity College, Sally Cryer, said: “It is a monumental achievement with the GCSE results improving year on year over the last four years.

“I congratulate the students on their determination to be the best that they can be.

“This is a fantastic day for everyone at Unity College. We have come such a long way and today is a day for huge celebration.

“There is a relentless drive to achieve the best possible results for our students and the results are a true testament of the hard work and total dedication from the staff at Unity College. Everyone should be very proud of what we have achieved.”

Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School head teacher Alan Porteous said: “We are delighted that our students’ GCSE achievement continues to be among the highest in Lancashire, with 98% achieving 5A*-C (including English and maths) and 75% achieving the EBacc. These excellent results are a reflection of the hard work and commitment of our students and staff and we congratulate them on their success.”

Hameldon Community College, Burnley, rose slightly from 41 per cent to 43 per cent while Shuttleworth College, Padiham, increased from 40 per cent to 47 per cent.

Pendle Vale College in Nelson saw a drop from 50 per cent to 43 per cent while St John Fisher and Thomas More Roman Catholic High School, Colne, fell from 64 per cent to 51 per cent.

Blackburn’s Queen Elizabeth Grammar School fell from its 2011 figure of 89 per cent to 78 per cent, while Westholme dipped from 93 per cent to 84 per cent.

Accrington Academy principal Andy O’Brien said: “I am extremely proud of the achievements of all the students.

“The tables demonstrate the significant progress Accrington Academy continues to make.

“To have almost doubled the number of students gaining five good GCSE grades in two years is testament to the hard work and commitment of our fantastic staff and students.

“Our school motto is ‘the Best in Everyone’ and it is fantastic to see this reflected in academic success.”